DEV Community

Scott Moses
Scott Moses

Posted on

Spa SEO: How To Optimize Single Page Application Apps

Building a Single Page application is different as compared to that of a static website, this difference in how the page is created affects the visibility of the site as now the social media agents and the search engine has to deal with JavaScript instead of HTML.

Having a SPA by default does not imply that it will be bad for SEO, in fact, if done right, they tend to top the rankings in Google. Since Googlebot is the only crawler that is able to render JavaScript and index dynamic content, one should know a few points before starting to customize their page to have a higher ranking on the google page.

Each app view must have a clean URL
The success of an app’s SEO depends a lot on JavaScript rendering speed and stability
Search engines and social media bots should get metadata in static HTML

Let’s dive into these facts and see how they affect your site’s ranking.

URLs and internal linkings should be SEO friendly

The most common problem that arises while using SPA is that they rely on routers to generate their UI and content in sync with the variable URLs, and the most common pitfalls of SPA URLs is that they either use hash-based routing or History API routing, which a lot many times gives birth to 404 errors when the user tries to directly access a non-existent URL or the crawlers ignore the hashed URLs as they indicate the parts of the same page.

Having a Unique URL is enough for indexing, but to stand apart from the competition, you’ll have to provide these URLs with unique titles, preview images, and descriptions moreover to ensure that other agents pick up these links you will need to put these into static HTML

Tip: Make sure to create an XML sitemap for the project, which makes it easier for search engines such as Google, Bing, and others to crawl your website better,

Fast and Flawless JavaScript Code

One of the most important aspects of SEO ranking is dependent upon how fast the JavaScript Code runs on the site, and for SPAs, it is important to keep an eye on how GoogleBot processes the client-side rendering of the page.
As per the official documentation, GoogleBot has a three-stage workflow for processing JS, which includes crawling, rendering, and indexing in the same order.

Because of the extra stage needed for rendering, it takes a significant amount of time for SPA to appear in search in comparison to static HTML, which increases the risk of an indexing error. To counter this, you need to make sure that your JavaScript code is fast enough to fit into GoogleBot’s render budget.

Tip: Use small JS code for fast initial page load, as it concerns both server and client-side rendering, and this approach of lazy loading solves the problem of slow web apps efficiently.

Unique META tags

The header of the SPA belongs to the static HTML part, which does not change whenever the page is loaded, however, it is necessary to have titles and descriptions that clarify the users and the bots to the information, that they’ll find on each of the page’s URL.
To ensure this, there are special utilities that are available in frontend frameworks that help in generating dynamic metadata and push it into the page header, though the problem that arises here is that there will still be some JS code that executes before the metadata is crawled and indexed which will hide it from search engines that don’t process the JS code. To counter this, make sure to send the metadata with the HTML when the page loads.

If done right, having a SPA is more advantageous in comparison to static HTML pages, as these are built using modern web frameworks that evolve fast, also these technologies provide the design and the interactivity which satisfies both the user’s and the search engine’s requirements.

Top comments (1)

johner97 profile image

This type of SEO is called aso. Aso is the part of SEO that is dedicated to the web application. If you don't know what it is, I recommend this post: